NHL Power Rankings: Grades for Every Team, Post-Draft Edition

John B Matheson@@JB_WebberCorrespondent IJune 25, 2012

NHL Power Rankings: Grades for Every Team, Post-Draft Edition

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    With the NHL entry draft now complete we take a look at the picks and trades the teams made over the weekend. Some teams performed decidedly better than others, while for some it is a close race.

    There were a few big trades that had a huge impact on the teams involved; some were good while others may have hurt one team more than helped them.

    From worst to first see how your team did at this year's draft weekend in the NHL power rankings.

Colorado Avalanche

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    The Avalanche traded away their first-round pick for help in net, picking up Semyon Varlamov.

    Their other picks were all players who will be in the system for a few years before making a difference in Colorado.

    None truly stand out as a steal and all need work before they are ready. 

Calgary Flames

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    Calgary has been a team on the cusp for a number of years. With their star captain getting older they need to start looking to the future.

    Their first-round pick will not be helping them anytime soon. Forward Mark Jankowski will need some time to develop before he plays with the Flames.

    In fact, all of their picks seem like they are long-term development players, many of whom won’t be at the NHL level for a number of years.

    The long-term goals were clearly in place with this draft.

New Jersey Devils

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    The Devils are in a bit of limbo at the moment, as they try to re-sign star forward Zach Parise. If the financial end can be met he would stay, but that is still uncertain.

    New Jersey drafted a number of prospects for the future, but they are all a long way off from breaking into the NHL.

    The Devils' biggest woes seem to surround their financial situation, and the draft did not do much for the team in the next few years.

Vancouver Canucks

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    The Canucks have some issues surrounding the club these days with the biggest being in net.

    They have Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo, one becoming a restricted free agent, the other the center of trade rumours.

    Vancouver should have done something to trade one of the two of them and advance in the draft, as well as gain some players.

    Their first pick, Brendan Gaunce, just turned 18. He is a talented player who would be the kind of physical player they need. Unfortunately he will need at least a year of development.

    Their other picks add some size and physicality to a team that needs it, but none are going to be ready for the NHL soon.

San Jose Sharks

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    The Sharks are one team that needed to make some solid picks this draft as well as some good trades to regain the position they once held in the West.

    Their first pick, center Tomas Hertl, is a good player but is under contract with the Czech league for another two years.

    He won’t be able to replace Joe Thornton anytime soon.

    They added more depth to their offense, though these players all need time in the system to develop more before reaching the NHL.

Anaheim Ducks

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    The Anaheim Ducks' trade involving Lubomir Visnovsky took away from the team rather than added to it.

    Their first overall pick, Hampus Lindholm, was taken much higher than projected and with the trade may not have been the best selection at sixth overall.

    They did try to add some talent to the blue line, but none of the players picked by the Ducks were among the top defenders.

    The other players drafted will need time to develop before any real assessment can occur.

New York Rangers

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    The Rangers only had four picks in this year’s draft, and will more likely than not be trying to upgrade through trades.

    Their first-round pick, Brady Skjei, is the only player that will see ice time in the near future, most likely coming to the NHL in a couple of years.

    The Rangers did not have much to work with and decided to leave their successful team alone, opting to draft for the future and trade for current needs. 

Florida Panthers

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    Florida filled their picks with a lot of developmental players. They only had a few draft picks and chose to look to the future rather than the present.

    The one exception was Michael Matheson; the young defender needs time to develop into a player that can make an impact on the team.

    In a few years expect him to be a regular on their blue line.

    None of Florida’s picks this year will have an immediate impact on the team this year or next.

St. Louis Blues

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    St. Louis used the 2011 draft to go from a non-contending team to challenging for the Presidents' Trophy.

    They are hoping this year’s class will follow in those footsteps.

    The main issue is that there were no real names that jump out as solid picks; given time to develop they may turn that around. Only time will tell.

Nashville Predators

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    Nashville had traded their first-round pick to Buffalo at the deadline for Paul Gaustad, who never really paid off for them.

    They did have two second-round picks and managed to take some players who have some potential.

    Winger Pontus Aberg and Center Colton Sissons could be good additions to the Predators, but like many in this year's draft class will need some time to develop.

    The other picks may or may not pan out as they were all fairly average picks, but they do help Nashville fill out the positions on their roster.

Philadelphia Flyers

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    Philly made some smart choices in the first two rounds of the draft this year. They selected a young forward that plays their style of game and a goalie.

    The young center Scott Laughton is a talented forward who has a physical game backed by offensive play. He will fit nicely with the Flyers in a few seasons.

    Picking goaltender Anthony Stolarz in the second round made sense as they traded Sergei Bobrovsky to Columbus, leaving Bryzgalov, who still remains a question mark in net.

    Whether Stolarz is ready to play next season should Bryzgalov not pan out is still up for debate.

    For Philly it was a fairly average draft that could have a few potential bonuses.

Minnesota Wild

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    Minnesota was a bold team at last year's draft, with very little to show for it over this past season.

    They were much quieter this draft.

    Their first pick, Mathew Dumba, has the potential to be a great defenseman in a few years. He will need some time to develop before moving to the Wild roster.

    Aside from Dumba there were no other notable picks, though they may develop later into good players. For now they seem average. 

Phoenix Coyotes

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    Phoenix had their best season in franchise history, though their draft was nothing spectacular.

    They managed to get Henrik Samuelsson, who played well in the Memorial Cup tournament. He is also the son of former NHL’er Ulf Samuelsson.

    In time Samuelsson will be a good player, but he will not be ready to step in next season to lend his size and skill to the Coyotes.

    The other notable move by Phoenix over the draft weekend was their re-acquisition of Zybnek Michalek from Pittsburgh.

    Phoenix’s draft was not overly special.

Dallas Stars

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    Dallas focused this year on rounding out their club in all positions.

    Their first pick overall was center Radek Faksa, who led the OHL rookies in goals with 29 points and 66 points in 62 games.

    He is another player who will need at least a season to develop before he makes an impact with Dallas.

    With the Stars trading Mike Ribeiro, they need some immediate help but were unable to land any players who are definite for next season.

Chicago Blackhawks

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    The Blackhawks had a decent draft this year. They were far from spectacular, however.

    They lucked out in the first round when they were able to snap up Teuvo Teravainen, a talented winger who was predicted to go much sooner.

    He may need another season before he is playing with the Blackhawks, but he will add a lot of talent when he does join.

    They also managed a good late-round grab with goalie Brandon Whitney. He too needs time to develop but has potential to be a star netminder.

    The rest of their picks could develop, but none are standing out as great picks. Nor will any of their picks help with their current issues in net or with team chemistry.

Boston Bruins

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    Boston still has a top team that needs only a few pieces in place to make a solid run at the Stanley Cup again.

    This year's draft was more looking towards the future, drafting fairly evenly throughout the various positions.

    Their biggest pickup also helped them with some of the turbulence they have seen with goaltender Tim Thomas when they selected Malcolm Subban.

    Subban may be taking over in the backup role next season behind Tuukka Rask as Thomas will be sitting out for the season.

    Their other picks will have time as the Bruins have a solid team with a decent mix of young players and veteran players.

Ottawa Senators

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    Ottawa has become one of the best teams in regard to drafting since the Alexandre Daigle days.

    This year they managed to pick up home-grown talent Cody Ceci, who had 60 points in 64 games in the OHL this past season.

    They also nabbed a few decent goaltenders that could develop in the AHL over the next few seasons.

    With Ceci being their most notable pick, they did add some talent to their club in other areas.

New York Islanders

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    The Islanders only drafted defensemen this year; they desperately needed some good defensive players in their system.

    They also acquired Visnovsky from the Ducks; the offensive defenseman will add some immediate help.

    As will their first pick overall in Griffin Reinhart, who could also add his ability as soon as next season.

    Reinhart shot up the prospect lists with a great second half to his season. He totaled 36 points over 58 games.

    The Islanders picked what they needed the most, help on the blue line. 

Los Angeles Kings

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    The Kings have been steadily drafting good players over the last number of seasons, and this year they saw it pay off when they won the Stanley Cup.

    They continued the trend this year, though luck may have played a role with their top pick Tanner Pearson.

    Pearson was a late bloomer, currently 20 years old. He is predicted to be able to make the NHL by next season.

    Their team is still looking very good going into next season, which will allow for the majority of this draft class time to develop.

Detroit Red Wings

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    One thing that Detroit has been known for over the last decade is solid drafts. This year was no different.

    The Red Wings have a knack of picking extremely talented players that other teams pass on.

    There were two real standouts this season in wingers Martin Frk and Andreas Athanasiou. 

    Both of these players will be able to make a difference after at least one season in the AHL, though Frk may start seeing some time with the Wings as early as this coming season.

    Detroit always drafts solidly and this year seems to be no different.

Carolina Hurricanes

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    The Carolina Hurricanes were the other half of the trade on Friday of the draft weekend that overshadowed the actual draft.

    They obtained Jordan Stall from Pittsburgh, allowing him to play with his older brother Eric. Both are serious offensive threats and together could make Carolina a contender.

    Their picks that were more on the defensive side will add some much-needed talent to the blue line.

    Their offensive picks were somewhat mediocre, but can develop over time into good players.

    A fairly safe draft from Carolina and the addition of star center Jordan Staal made this weekend a win for the Hurricanes.

Winnipeg Jets

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    The Jets' first two picks brought Winnipeg some tough players who enjoy a physical play style.

    Their first pick, defenseman Jacob Trouba, and center Lukas Sutter are both players that the fans of Winnipeg should enjoy watching play.

    They also picked up some insurance in net in the rights to Jonas Gustavsson for a late pick in next year's draft.

    With things not seeming to go well in the negotiations with Ondrej Pavelec, Gustavsson could give them some breathing room.

    If they can re-sign Pavelec before next season then Gustavsson will make a solid backup goalie for 2012.

Tampa Bay Lightning

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    Tampa had a good draft year' they addressed immediate concerns as well as made picks for the future of the club.

    Having picked up Anders Lindback during this past week, they addressed their largest concern in net.

    Their two first-round picks saw them deepen their blue line with Slater Koekkoek and obtain a goalie who can grow behind Lindback in Andrei Vasilevski.

    Their first picks will probably begin to help the Lightning by next season, while the rest will develop over the next few years before making their mark in Tampa.

Toronto Maple Leafs

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    Unlike past years, Toronto kept their hand close and did very little talking about their intentions.

    When they selected another defenseman, many were stumped as to why they would add another to a club that has a deep blue line.

    Morgan Rielly may take at least a season before he can truly make an impact on the Leafs.

    What really pushed the Leafs up on this list was the trade made June 23rd when they acquired James van Riemsdyk in exchange for Luke Schenn.

    Van Riemsdyk helps the Leafs address an immediate need while utilizing their picks to deepen their future talent.

    Between their picks that look to the future and the trade to address current needs, Toronto has situated themselves well for next season and beyond.

Edmonton Oilers

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    For the third straight year, Edmonton had the first pick overall. Right until the moment they took the podium there was speculation as to whether the Oilers might trade the pick.

    In keeping it they took the top prospect overall in Nail Yakupov. Having three years of talented forwards has given Edmonton the ability to utilize other talent as trade bait.

    The Oilers' main need currently was defense; they already have a number of blueliners in the system. They also have the ability to trade one of their many young forwards to address that need.

    Their picks outside of Yakupov will help develop their AHL club into a team to beat, and when those players make it to the NHL they will fill out Edmonton’s lines well.

Pittsburgh Penguins

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    The Penguins were among the more active teams this draft; with nine picks and a huge trade Pittsburgh seemed to come out on top in this draft.

    They freed up a large portion of cap space needed to help re-sign superstar captain Sidney Crosby by trading Jordan Staal for a first-round pick and two players.

    The Staal trade overshadowed much of the first round, though it was somewhat expected when he refused a 10-year deal with the Penguins.

    The Penguins split their picks relatively evenly with four forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders.

    Their first pick was defenseman Derrick Pouliot, an offensive blueliner who notched 59 points in 72 games with Portland.

    Overall the picks made by the host team will help keep the Penguins contending for the cup for years to come.

Columbus Blue Jackets

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    The Columbus Blue Jackets have not had great luck in recent years with the draft. On top of that have been the trade rumours surrounding star center Rick Nash.

    Overall Columbus did extremely well, preparing for their climb out of the cellar. They focused on two of their largest weaknesses in this draft by taking two defensemen and two goalies.

    Their first pick overall was the top defensive prospect Ryan Murray. There was some speculation surrounding Murray being taken first overall, so Columbus nabbing him second was a good pick.

    The second and third pick that the Blue Jackets obtained were two of the top European prospects for goaltenders.

    Addressing the concerns on the blue line and in the net, Columbus made great selections this draft.

Montreal Canadiens

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    Montreal Canadiens fans finally have something to smile about. After their horrible season the light at the end of the tunnel was draft day.

    The Canadiens' top picks were two players that could be ready to make an impact as soon as next season.

    Their first pick was highly touted Alex Galchenyuk, who might need a season in the AHL as he was injured for the majority of this past season.

    They also took Sebastian Collberg; the Swedish winger tallied 17 points in 21 games for Frolunda’s junior team.

    These two players will help bring back the prestige the Canadiens lost this past season. Their other five picks from this draft will help fill out the talent pool for the future.

Buffalo Sabres

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    Buffalo had eight picks and used them all wisely to round out their future. Five of their picks were forwards, two were defensemen and one a respectable goalie.

    The biggest news for Buffalo fans was that Mikhail Grigorenko was still available when the Sabres had their first pick.

    In Grigorenko’s first season in QMJH he notched 85 points in 59 games. He was projected to be picked in the top 10 early in the season but slipped by draft day.

    Grigorenko will have a large impact on a struggling Sabres team as soon as next season.

    Many of Buffalo’s picks will help the team in years to come; their solid draft should help their struggling team.

Washington Capitals

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    Washington entered the draft with a league-high 11 draft picks this year. They traded one with Cody Eakin on draft day to Dallas for Mike Ribeiro.

    In the first round they grabbed one of the top prospects in Filip Forsberg. He models his play style after Avalanche legend Peter Forsberg. It should be noted the two are not related.

    They also took one of the best checkers in the OHL in Thomas Wilson. The large winger only played 49 games but 27 points.

    Washington tops this power ranking due to their strengthening the team for next season as well as looking to the future with their other picks.